Sometimes rainy day funds aren’t enough, and emergency expenses make you lean on credit. When that happens, transferring your balance to the Chase Slate® could save you hundreds of dollars in interest.
Among all the cards on NerdWallet, the Chase Slate® is the only one with a long 0% balance transfer APR period and no balance transfer fees in the first 60 days. It comes with an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24% - 24.99% Variable APR. Considering that the average U.S. credit card APR is almost 14%, according to 2015 Federal Reserve data, it’s not hard to see how this balance transfer offer could save you a bundle.
To be sure, a Chase Slate® balance transfer isn’t for everyone. You need good or excellent credit to qualify for the card, and you can’t transfer a balance from another Chase card. The card also doesn’t allow you to transfer more than $15,000 in total, even if your total credit limit is higher than than that. If the card fits your needs, though, consider applying.
Here are five times the Chase Slate® could save you $500 or more.
1. Pet health emergencies
The debt: After finding out your cat needs surgery, you paid $7,000 for the procedure, follow-up care and medication on a rewards card with a 23% APR. It will take you seven months to pay off the debt.
How much could you save after a Chase Slate® balance transfer? $546.84
Rewards credit cards can earn you lots of points and miles, but the APRs on these cards tend to be higher than average. Let’s say you earned 2 miles per dollar spent; you’d get $140 in rewards, assuming the miles were worth 1 cent each. But taking seven months to pay off that balance could cost $546.84, wiping out the value of the rewards.
If you transfer the balance to the Chase Slate®, you could keep the rewards and save what you otherwise might have spent on interest. The annual fee on the Chase Slate® is $0, a bargain compared with many rewards cards.
More about balance transfer credit cards: What to Do When Your Credit Limit Is Too Low
2. Car problems
The debt: Your car’s transmission needs to be repaired, and the bill comes to $2,500. You also end up paying for a rental for two weeks while your car is in the shop, which costs $600. You put the charges on your 20% APR credit card, and plan to pay it off within two years.
How much could you save after a Chase Slate® balance transfer? $622.88
Even though the 0% balance transfer APR period on the Chase Slate® isn’t 24 months long, you’ll still save a lot on interest by doing a balance transfer and paying the remaining balance off after the end of the 0% APR period. Assuming you qualified for an ongoing APR of 12.99% after the introductory period ended, you’d still save more than $600 on interest in this case.
3. Roof repairs
The debt: After a summer thunderstorm, your roof is drooping and leaking in several places. It will cost $8,000 to repair. You put the charges on your low-interest credit card, which has an APR of 10%, and plan to pay it off in 15 months.
How much could you save after a Chase Slate® balance transfer? $543.70
Interest charges add up quickly — even if you’re using a low-interest credit card. If your credit is good enough to qualify for a competitive balance transfer offer, you may save a lot more in the long term.
Read about NerdWallet’s best balance transfer credit cards
4. Broken air conditioning
The debt: As temperatures climb to triple digits, your 30-year-old central air conditioning unit stops working, and you need to install a replacement. You charge the entire bill — $5,000 — to your credit card, which has a 20% APR. You plan to pay off the balance in 15 months.
How much could you save after a Chase Slate® balance transfer? $692.35
Even on the most generous rewards cards, sign-up bonuses worth around $700 are rare. The Chase Slate® doesn’t offer one, and doesn’t earn rewards, but what you could save on interest rivals some of the most competitive offers on the market.
Read more about balance transfer credit cards: How a Balance Transfer Affects Your Credit Score
5. Traveling on short notice
The debt: After a death of a family member who lives overseas, you need to book an international trip on short notice. The cost is staggering: $4,000 for two roundtrip tickets, plus $2,000 for 10 days of lodging. You put it on your credit card, which has a 15% APR, and plan to pay it back over the course of 15 months.
How much could you save after a Chase Slate® balance transfer? $617.40
When you have the option of saving more than $600 on interest, you can pay off your debt more quickly than planned, or make lower monthly payments than you might otherwise. Traveling on short notice and dealing with family emergencies is stressful, but a 0% balance transfer offer can make paying back the debt less of a burden.
When calculating interest costs, we assumed equal payments. Savings were calculated by subtracting the interest charged on the Chase Slate® from the interest charged on the card in the scenario.
Image via iStock.